What is “empiricism” and what does it mean to be committed to empiricism?


The first chapter of our textbook defines psychology as “…the science that studies behavior and the physiological and mental processes that underlie it, and it is the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems.”

Everything we cover in this course is going to involve how we can apply that science to our own lives to enhance our well-being.

So – In your own words, what does this definition mean? Discuss what it means to say that psychologists take a “scientific approach to behavior”? What do we mean by “scientific approach”? What is “empiricism” and what does it mean to be committed to empiricism? Provide some examples of the advantages of a scientific approach to behavior.

Discuss in depth how this definition compares to what you had previously thought psychology was about. What are some areas, characteristics or features of psychology that are of special interest to you?

Be sure you read over the Discussion Guidelines. Ensure that your response is complete and detailed, showing what you have learned from your readings and using what you are learning to inform your answer.


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